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Seiko Celebrates 100 Years of Wristwatches

by Jonathan Fairfield
12 April, 2013
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About the author

Jonathan lives and works in Thailand as a writer and English Teacher. He is fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to watches, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and writes for a blog on the subject.

Seiko Astron GPS SAST015 Solar Watch

In 1913, Kintaro Hattori, Seiko’s founder, launched the brand’s first wristwatch, the Laurel. To celebrate 100 years of watchmaking, Seiko has released details of a couple of new timepieces to its popular Seiko Astron and Seiko Grand collections.

Despite some only recognising Seiko for predominantly producing quartz watches, the Grand Seiko Collection represents the brand’s successful foray into the higher end of the watch making market. That said, even though the collection is well established, it could be the case you might not have heard of Grand Seiko. This is because for a long time the collection was only ever sold in Japan and has only recently been made available overseas. The collection is well worth exploring and represents the very best in Japanese watch making and design.

Originally launched in 1969, the Seiko Quartz Astron was the world’s first quartz watch and was accurate to approximately 5 seconds per month. It was a revolutionary wristwatch that would change the world of watch making forever.

2012 saw the launch of the new Astron collection, which would be the worlds first GPS solar watch that is accurate to one second every 100,000 years. It is also capable of automatic timezone adjustment.

Seiko Astron GPS SAST015 Solar Watch

The Seiko Astron SAST015 was one of the first watches launched to mark the brand’s 100 years of wristwatches. Super precise time keeping, thanks to its built in GPS, that is also able to automatically adjust timezones. Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? If you want an accurate watch, then you’ve almost certainly found what you’re looking for!

Through the development of its low-energy GPS receiver, Seiko have created a watch that can connect to a GPS network and identify the local time of day and time zone. The new Astron SAST015 recognises all 39 global timezones. That’s not all, because the watch is solar powered, it never needs a battery change, with its power reserve indicator displaying the amount of stored energy.

The SAST015, along with two new titanium (SAST017) and ceramic (SAST019) models are due to be officially launched in Japan on May 24th, although don’t be surprised if they make an appearance at Baselworld later this month.

The Seiko Astron GPS SAST015 measures 47mm in diameter, with a thickness of 16.5mm and features a sapphire crystal that has been treated with Seiko’s Super Clear Coating, which is capable of preventing 99% of light reflection.

Grand Seiko SBGX103 Calibre 9F Limited Edition

As well as marking 100 years of wristwatches, the Grand Seiko SBGX103 also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the brands signature Calibre 9F watch, which features a super precise quartz movement that was launched in 1993.

The new watch is limited to 2000 pieces and features a traditionally simple design that includes a stainless steel body and bracelet, with a  thin polished bezel. The case measures 37mm in diameter and is just 10mm thick.

The dial is pretty interesting as it an ‘XX’ pattern (20 in Roman numerals), with a Grand Seiko lion also featured throughout. You’ll also notice the gold star located above 6 o’clock which is to signify the watch’s supreme accuracy rating.

The movement of the  Grand Seiko SBGX103 Calibre 9F Limited Edition has been engraved with Seiko’s familiar gothic style and is complete with the Grand Seiko logo. It also features polished screws and a diagonal pattern which is a little similar to the stripes of Geneva.

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Jonathan Fairfield | Website

Jonathan lives and works in Thailand as a writer and English Teacher. He is fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to watches, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and writes for a blog on the subject.

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